Robert Scott, who recently stepped down as State Commissioner of Education in Texas, told Georgia legislators that he was pressured to adopt the Common Core standards before they were written.
He said, in the video that appears in the linked article:
“My experience with the Common Core actually started when I was asked to sign on to them before they were written. … I was told I needed to sign a letter agreeing to the Common Core, and I asked if I might read them first, which is, I think, appropriate. I was told they hadn’t been written, but they still wanted my signature on the letter. And I said, ‘That’s absurd; first of all, I don’t have the legal authority to do that because our [Texas] law requires our elected state board of education to adopt curriculum standards with the direct input of Texas teachers, parents and business. So adopting something that was written behind closed doors in another state would not meet my state law.’ … I said, ‘Let me take a wait-and-see approach.‘ If something remarkable was in there that I found that we did not have in ours that I would work with our board … and try to incorporate into our state curriculum …
“Then I was told, ‘Oh no no, a state that adopts Common Core must adopt in its totality the Common Core and can only add 15 percent.’ It was then that I realized that this initiative which had been constantly portrayed as state-led and voluntary was really about control. It was about control. Then it got co-opted by the Department of Education later. And it was about control totality from some education reform groups who candidly admit their real goal here is to create a national marketplace for education products and services.”
Supporters of the Common Core dispute his claim.
Scott made national headlines when he was State Commissioner because he spoke candidly against the excessive testing of students in Texas. He said testing had become “the heart of the vampire” and had perverted the purpose of education. He didn’t last long in his job after being so brutally frank. Texas has long been obsessed with testing and accountability, and Scott spoke from the heart. He also helped to ignite the national anti-testing movement.